Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness: A Poor Lesson in Personal Responsibility

On paper, what President Biden did for students in education loan debt relief is extraordinarily progressive. If legal, it would literally help millions of students clear up some, most or all of their student loans. The logic being that predatory lenders forced these “victims” into debt and therefore, students should be absolved of that debt. What is predatory lending? According to Google, it’s “any lending practice that imposes unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers, including high-interest rates, high fees and terms that strip the borrower of equity.” Seems unfair, but not illegal.

I must admit, I’m a little taken aback because I’m unsure as to what possible argument can be made for someone knowingly entering into an agreement and then later realizing it was a bad decision. We can argue all day about whether colleges and universities should be so prohibitively expensive but that’s for a different day. The fact is all of these students knowingly signed papers that would allow them to attend whatever school they chose to attend. Like purchasing a car, one can’t afford, there are definitely some universities that are beyond reach unless there’s scholarship money awarded based on academic excellence, or real need.

It’s fun to go away to school and join a fraternity and embark in the college experience. But there are many schools in the US that simply aren’t worth the price. Everyone knows the Ivy’s. Attending Princeton, buys you economic freedom, right or wrong makes no difference. It’s simply the way the world works. But then there are the schools that are “party schools.” Taking out huge loans simply to have four years of fun, only to realize, now I have to pay the piper, is the fault of the student, not the lender. Students sell their souls to the devil and when it comes to paying up, they want no part of it.

If you live in New York City and attend a CUNY, you’re not going to owe much money when you graduate because the schools are very affordable. According to the CUNY site, the average cost per semester, after aid is approximately $3,067. Seems fair but of course it’s not the same as going away if New York City or the boroughs is home. Room and board are expensive, but the problem of the individual. If a student needs to live at home, then that’s how it has to be. But $24,000 over four years, is very reasonable for a good education and shouldn’t bury those students in debt for the rest of their lives, regardless of the path they choose. You can’t pay back $50,000, or $60,000 per year in loans with a Political Science, Art History or Philosophy degree.

I have looked all over the web and at research papers trying to understand why this loan forgiveness was allowed and I can’t find a legitimate reason. I don’t understand how a sitting President can simply erase billions of dollars of dollars debt with a magic wand. Lawsuits will definitely follow, challenging this debt relief. As I stated earlier, on paper it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. It helps people with crippling debt. But in reality, it fails to teach personal responsibility and that’s why I have a problem with it. Too many people want to blame others for their own shortcomings and that’s unacceptable. Better to take responsibility for being irresponsible and stating that you need help. That I would understand. Without that admission, no lessons will be learned.

Life is about personality responsibility. It applies to all aspects of our lives. Should we purchase a home or take that Disney vacation? Do we call Disney a predator because the commercials make it look so appealing? At some point the $15k for the trip has to be paid. If the trip is paid by credit and the interest rate on the credit card is 16.99%, is the credit card company a predator? Did the credit card company force you to take that vacation? Or is the credit card company a predatory business because you didn’t realize that if you only pay the minimum due each month, it will take years to pay off that vacation debt?!

If I purchase a car because a beautiful woman in the commercial explains why I need the car, isn’t that on me? Marketers exist to convince people to buy things, whether or not they can afford those things. Using predatory language can therefore apply to everything. Therefore, no one should have to pay for anything because all companies are predators. I’m obviously being facetious. We need to take ownership of our mistakes and stop blaming others. President Biden reminds me of the kid running for president of the class in grammar school who promises to eliminate homework if you cast your vote. It may be popular but it’s untenable

People need to be held accountable for their actions. Making stupid decisions and then backing out, can’t be tolerated even though it may seem like the “nice” or “fair” thing to do. It’s sore losing on steroids. This is unamerican and unacceptable. I learned in college that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That still applies today!

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